Definition of disingenuous
: lacking in candor; also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating
disingenuous was our Word of the Day on 01/29/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of disingenuous in a Sentence
“It's had nine murders since 1937—about the same as you would get in many small towns.“ This was correct, but a wee disingenuous. The AT [Appalachian Trail] had no murders in its first thirty-six years and nine in the past twenty-two. —Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, 1999
… and he egged Badger on, asking a disingenuous question about the antivivisection rally in Cleveland, and as Badger took the thought up and chewed it over, the Doctor made as if to excuse himself. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville, 1993
… he has a disingenuous way of resorting to slang when he wants to make a big point but is afraid of sounding pretentious. —Karen Schoemer, New York Times Book Review, 31 Oct. 1993
Unity is at best an ideal, at worst a disingenuous political slogan. —Salman Rushdie, The Independent on Sunday, 25 Nov. 1990
Her recent expressions of concern are self-serving and disingenuous.
Recent Examples of disingenuous from the Web
First, the idea that UBI has bipartisan appeal is disingenuous.
What is absent for the lonely is genuine connection, so shallow or disingenuous interactions only worsen their plight.
But Goodell saying there’s never been a problem with him and Kraft is at best disingenuous.
Saying Trump is responsible for the economic gains is completely disingenuous -- his main efforts have been to undo Obama's legacy, many of which are directly responsible for the economic gains the U.S. is seeing.
There's absolutely zero fun to be had from watching Daytime Divas and wondering who the characters are based on if the show is being disingenuous about its influences.
This claim that the problem with Paris is that the deal wasn’t struck properly is a disingenuous argument that is not informed by how Paris actually works nor by any reality about how the world actually crafts big complex deals.
Without beginning at that point, any study or policy change will be not only disingenuous, but dangerous.
Other people familiar with the document disagree sharply, saying such claims are disingenuous because the FBI has known for a long time that the Russian intelligence document is unreliable and based on multiple layers of hearsay.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disingenuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
disingenuous Has a Roman History
Ingenous has its roots in the slave-holding society of ancient Rome. Its ancestor ingenuus is a Latin adjective meaning "native" or "freeborn" (itself from gignere, meaning "to beget"). Ingenuus begot the English adjective ingenuous. That adjective originally meant "freeborn" (as in "ingenuous Roman subjects") or "noble and honorable," but it eventually came to mean "showing childlike innocence" or "lacking guile." In the mid-17th century, English speakers combined the negative prefix dis- with ingenuous to create disingenuous, meaning "guileful" or "deceitful."
First Known Use of disingenuous
DISINGENUOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of disingenuous for English Language Learners
: not truly honest or sincere : giving the false appearance of being honest or sincere
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